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The Frozen Mop review

Thea Euryphaessa finds an illicit affair more exciting than the food in Mobberley

Written by . Published on March 10th 2011.

The Frozen Mop review

MY GUEST for the evening recommended The Frozen Mop in Mobberley. I hadn’t heard of it before. Neither had my sat nav. This is a place telecommunication signals go to die; which is probably why the couple sat two booths down from us considered it the perfect rendezvous to carry on their illicit affair. “How d’ya know they’re having an affair?” my companion asked as a ball of tumbleweed rolled through the restaurant and a pair of knickers landed in his anaemic looking glass of Pinot Grigio rose (£4.85). From where I was sitting, however, it looked like it needed all the help it could get (although, apparently, it was delicious).

You see, come the following morning I couldn’t remember, for love nor money, what I’d eaten the night before – all memory from my taste buds had been wiped clean, vanished in a puff of smoke.

Duck rillette

Outside and in, it’s a handsome enough venue in a modern village pub kind of way – very Cheshire club class. Certainly a lovely place to while away a sunny afternoon out on the extensively decked area, with views of Jodrell Bank in the distance (which I mistook for Beetham Tower in the darkness – you can take the girl out of Manchester...). When I discovered it’s the sister pub of The Merlin in Alderley Edge, however, everything fell into place. Magic clearly runs in the family.

You see, come the following morning I couldn’t remember, for love nor money, what I’d eaten the night before – all memory from my taste buds had been wiped clean, vanished in a puff of smoke. After my starter I’d like to think they slinked away for the rest of the evening, didn’t bother returning. The food was pretty one-dimensional. Thank the gods for note taking.


For starters, I had the duck rillette with rhubarb and ginger chutney and wholemeal toast – burnt, wholemeal toast (£6.55). My companion, meanwhile, opted for scallops (£8.55). I was informed the scallops were good, but before my fork had even managed to make its way across the table, they’d all but disappeared. Thirty minutes later, I was still trying to make the best of my rillette. Slow eater, me. On this occasion, however, it may not have been the best idea as it only prolonged the agony. I wondered whether my companion was onto something with his down-in-one approach (he hadn’t even noticed the knickers in his wine).

My slow food approach to dining was either unfamiliar to our über efficient waitress, or downright irritating. Doubtless, she’d have made a cracking flight attendant. Charming in an eastern European, crack-the-whip way, she eventually hustled me into choosing the pappardella with cyder braised rabbit, mushrooms, cream, and spinach (£10.55). Speedy Gonzalez across the table, meanwhile, had the roasted rack of lamb with a mini shepherd’s pie, Chantenay carrots (or ‘Chanterney’ as per their menu) and cumin (£15.95). On the side, he had Belgian frites and mayo (£2.65).

Rack of lamb

Rabbit papardella

From where I was sat they (the Belgian frites) looked like the leftover chip-ends from the bottom of the fryer, but apparently the mayo was very good. Once again, though, by the time I’d looked up from my plate my partner-in-crime was smacking his lips and dabbing his mouth with the napkin. From the photographic evidence I did manage to snaffle, the presentation was pretty. His lamb wasn’t pink as requested, but neither had it been overcooked.

My rabbit pappardella, on the other hand, was drowning in so much cream and oil my vocal chords lost all traction. In fact, my oesophagus is still so greasy I reckon I could swallow an entire aeroplane without flinching. With confident, hearty ribbons of pasta it was a shame too, particularly as I was looking forward to this dish. But with all that oil, I just couldn’t finish the plate. It may’ve also explained the intermittent slurping noises coming from two booths down. At least I’d like to think it was that.


Seeing as it was Shrove Tuesday, I had pancakes for dessert (£5.95). “Good girrl,” our waitress said. “A tradeezion of your contree. Everyone az been ‘avin zem.” I smiled. I ordered more wine (Collina d'Estate Shiraz, Sicily £4.85). By this point I was hoping the alcohol might spark an alchemical reaction by degreasing my insides and allowing me the ability to speak once more. My companion had the spiced apple and caramel crumble with vanilla custard (£4.95), which, for his last trick of the evening, he spirited away before I’d managed my first mouthful. He reliably informs me, however, that it was very good. To be fair, so were my pancakes.

So, would I visit The Frozen Mop again? Yes, I would – but only for a drink (perhaps a dessert too). I couldn’t knock the staff, though – they were all excellent. The food, however, was no more than average pub fare. With refinement, a little more nuance, and a little less oil, perhaps it’d be worthy of its brown fork n’ spoon sign which points the way down a leafy country lane to this charming setting.


Apple and caramel crumble

Rating: 14/20
Breakdown: 6/10 food
4/5 service
4/5 ambience
Address: The Frozen Mop
Faulkners Lane
WA16 7AL
01565 873 234

Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20: Gordo gets carried away

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14 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

GJHMarch 10th 2011.

have to disagree on food. had the roast there a week or so ago, really really good in all departments.

i don't know which 'average pubs' you frequent!?

sure you didn't have a cold that day?

bigearsMarch 10th 2011.

anyone know where the commments have gone from the Gordo recommends column? Strange that all the comments where negative and have now "disappeared". also, how can the lamb that he requested pink not be overcooked? if he asked for it pink and it didnt come out as request then surely this is overcooked?? Poor review, if you wasn't happy with the food why not send it back? Seems to me that you are more interested in making this review a funny story than anything. And also whilst i am at it how can you comment on the frites if you didnt taste them?

Brian CMarch 10th 2011.

This is awful. Are we seriously expected to believe that anyone would suggest that pancakes were a British tradition on Shrove Tues? When Its a bloody big world wide religious one, that a pair of knickers was flying about? that the writer couldnt remember what she had eaten or tasted but was able to be so very specific a few sentences later about the same said food. The worst load of bollocks I ever read in a restaurant review and not exactly up to scratch as anything else.

SAYS IT LIKE IT ISMarch 10th 2011.

BIGEARS & BRIAN C, do you spend your days and nights on forums and sites leaving nothing but negative, whinging comments? What happy lives you must lead. She made notes on the night. Read the review properly! Sound like nothing but a pair of frustrated wannabe restaurant reviewers who are probably sat behind a desk all day leading miserable bloody lives.

JenMarch 10th 2011.

Gorgeous venue, inside and out. Real shame about the food. Considering it's a 'Modern British' establishment, they really should learn to do their fish and chips properly - especially for the price. The chips were not home cut, they were the same as what you'd get in a beefeater, which I found really disappointing. The only excuse the manager could provide was that it was because they were part of a 'large chain' and that chips were very labour-intensive to cut...hmmm...I've seen other places do them just fine. I may consider going back as there will be a bottle of wine waiting for us which won't be that handy as we'll have to drive to get there; but also as it really is a lovely environment and I agree the staff are lovely, but they really need to pull themselves together to earn their 'modern British' title.

MobbsterMarch 10th 2011.

My family had our Xmas lunch at the Frozen Mopp mid-December. Food was excellent, all agreed. I've returned for Sunday lunch on 2 occasions since and have received excellent fayre on each occasion. Bad review(er) I think!

KNUTSFORD NUTMarch 10th 2011.

Great venue... if you like mediocre food.

bigearsMarch 10th 2011.

SAY IT LIKE IT IS - if someone asks for my opinion then i will give it to them - if they/you dont want to hear it, dont read it! And as for being a wannabe reviewer - not far off actually apart from the fact i 1. work in the restaurant world and think it is a shambles that reviews like this get published when it can effect business 2. i eat out at least twice a week 3. i dont sit behind a desk at all 4. are you honeslty telling me that someone who writes reviews for a living shouldn't know the difference between overcooked and not?? does that honeslty make any sense to you at all? if its not pink then its overcooked - simple.

Brian CMarch 10th 2011.

@Says it Like it is. I am with Big Ears on this and further add that apart from frequently giving out praise on here and elsewhere (as well as critiscism). I object strenuosly to crap writing that is served up as being professional. No matter what the subject is.

manchestergal82March 10th 2011.

i visted for sunday lunch a few weks ago. they were out of roast?! i opted for the fish and chips. fish was soggy as you like on one side and crispy on the other. chips nothing to write home about. only 4 other tables in there and it took over 2 hours for 3 manin courses and two puddings. i wasnt very impressed and doubt i would visit again for food. the waiting staff also very difficult to grab thier attnetion

KnightknightMarch 10th 2011.

When I saw that this place had been reviewed on MC, I was keen to see what was said as three of us went for a meal there a few Saturdays ago and we were far from impressed.
Their mitigation might have been that it was just after the lunchtime rush according to the waitress. Fair enough but that does not excuse some of what was wrong.
The venue itself is lovely. Bright and aesthetically pleasing from the outside and on the inside.
We were shown to our table by an efficient but by-no-means-friendly waitress.
We ordered basic fayre. Shared garlic bread. Burgers. Onion soup (as a main for one of our party).
The garlic bread was spot-on. The onion soup order was messed up and resulted in a leek and potato soup being served. The burgers were dry and the bread seemed more than a bit stale.
I wouldn't be that concerned at the above in an "average sort of pub" but that is not the stall that this place sets-out.
The soup was changed for an onion soup which was, I'm sorry to report, not pleasant. It was bland and tasted largely of salt.
OK, we were not impressed but we were only flying by on the way to do other things and weren't too distressed by it!
Sadly, when the man who appeared to be the manager appeared so that we could pay before heading off, he asked if everything had been ok. The soup-orderer said that it had not been good and she wished she had just taken the soup that had come by mistake in the first place. The manager, rather than apologise or engage with that feedback, just treated us like we had no right to reply to his question. "I don't think there's anything wrong with it." etc
If you don't want somebody's opinion, for pity's sake, don't ask for it.
I'm sure that there are things that the Frozen Mop do well but I am not in the slightest bit surprised by the review above.

ZeldaMarch 10th 2011.

I visited the Mop a few months ago with my fiance, one quiet Saturday afternoon. We liked the cosiness of the interior, but, having had a terrible meal we will not be returning. The waitress (probably the same one as described by the reviewer)was clearly unhappy when we sent back two of our dishes. The pea and ham soup was inedible - thick goo resembling Dickensian gruel rather than finely blended; it not only looked awful but was so heavily salted it made me cough when I tasted it. The side dish my fiance ordered was accompanied by burnt black toast which also was inedible. When we settled the bill, and said we didn't want to pay the full amount we were just left waiting whilst a big discussion took place by the management. Not what I call good customer care.

MiloMarch 10th 2011.

Frozen Mop reports, not surprising, try The Plough and Flail, much better

Matthew HillMarch 10th 2011.

We went for a late Sunday Afternoon lunch a few weeks ago and had a similarly iffy experience. No Sunday Roasts were left, it was only 4pm, and the food we did have was very average to say the best.

The youngests Pizza was OK, even good but the eldest's Fish and Chips were not good and my wife's Seabass was presented on a pepper stuffed with a tomato (?) and bog standard boiled spuds!! The service was efficient but for the quality of the venue and pricing of the Menu, I expect much better.

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